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Kerala Congress promises rice, jobs.

Thiruvananthapuram The Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front in Kerala released its election manifesto, placing emphasis on subsidised rice and creation of job opportunities, ahead of the upcoming assembly elections scheduled for April 13.

The election manifesto, released in Kochi by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala and Opposition leader Oommen Chandy, which takes the theme of 'development and care', offers to create 3.6 million jobs, and provide 25 kg of rice per month at Rs1 per kg to families below the poverty line. Financially better-off families will get the same quantity of rice at Rs2 per kg.

The UDF poll manifesto also promises to adopt poverty-stricken families, and provide agricultural loans at an interest rate of 3 per cent. UDF leaders said the coalition proposed to provide Rs200,000 (Dh16,445) to farmers who had been physically incapacitated while providing others with interest-free loans.

The manifesto also speaks about implementing the Sabarimala master plan and tackling the illicit liquor lobby and the lottery companies from outside the state operating in Kerala.

The UDF proposes to establish a hill development authority for development of the hilly regions of the state, and bring electricity to all homes in the state.

Major boost

The UDF poll manifesto was released a day after the coalition got a major psychological boost when former Students Federation of India state president Sindhu Joy quit the Communist Party of India Marxist and decided to throw her weight behind the UDF. During the day, the UDF also tackled the issue of the Nenmara constituency, with the decision to have Communist Marxist Party chief MV Raghavan contest from there. The seat had earlier been allotted to another UDF coalition partner, the Socialist Janata Party.

There was also relief for the UDF when Joseph M. Puthussery of the Kerala Congress (M) who had been denied a seat and had plans to contest as a rebel, decided not to contest from the Thiruvalla constituency. The traders' association, Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi also decided to back the UDF.

There was, however, some consternation for the UDF over the candidate in the Udumbanchola constituency in Idukki district. The proposed candidate, Josy Sebastian has not been acceptable to the local Congress leadership.

The UDF poll manifesto was released a day after the coalition got a major psychological boost when former Students Federation of India state president Sindhu Joy quit the Communist Party of India Marxist and decided to throw her weight behind the UDF.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 26, 2011
Words:427
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